Wrath of the Roth for barista

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY

Seven years ago Toko­roa barista Sjaan Sikking strug­gled to run 2.5 kilo­me­tres around the town lake but now she’s pre­par­ing to take on the world’s largest long dis­tance triathlon.

The 23-year-old, who in 2016 be­came the first Cook Is­lan­der from the South Waikato to ever com­plete a full Iron­man New Zealand in the 18-24 year age group, is set to com­pete in Ger­many’s Chal­lenge Roth on July 9.

Com­pet­ing in the 18-25 age group, along­side 5000 com­peti­tors from 60 dif­fer­ent na­tions, she said her aim was to fin­ish in the top ten and beat her Iron­man New Zealand time of 13 hours and 45 min­utes, where she fin­ish fourth.

She’ll be swim­ming 3.8km, bik­ing 180km, and run­ning 42.2km.

But un­like many com­peti­tors who spend years pre­par­ing, Sikking lit­er­ally got in­volved by ac­ci­dent.

‘‘I was train­ing for Iron­man New Zealand when I bumped into a lady from Ro­torua who had fallen off her bike and been knocked out so I stopped to help,’’ she said.

‘‘Ever since then we have been re­ally close and once I had fin­ished Iron­man she said she was go­ing with a group to Ger­many’s Chal­lenge Roth and asked if I would like to come.’’

Twenty five New Zealan­ders will take part in the chal­lenge.

‘‘The peo­ple you meet are like minded and it makes you so happy too. I don’t think I’d be the per­son I am to­day if I wasn’t do­ing this,’’ Sikking said.

She said she has her for­mer school teacher Andy Gray to thank for en­cour­ag­ing her.

‘‘I started run­ning around the lake and I used to stop and walk be­cause I was so tired but I pushed my­self to do it ev­ery­day and even­tu­ally I thought I wanted to do some­thing with it,’’ she said.

‘‘I never thought I would get into any of this though un­til I had a push from Andy who en­cour­aged me to do my first half marathon and it built up from there.’’

‘‘I love the chal­lenge of it all, the feel­ing of be­ing sore and the feel­ing of ac­com­plish­ment,’’ she said.

To help fundraise, Sweet Rose Espresso in Bridge St is raf­fling ham­pers for the next four months with $10 tick­ets sold also giv­ing peo­ple the chance to win a Pavoni Stradi­vari cof­fee maker, which is the same model used in James Bond Moon­raker, a cof­fee bean grinder and two bags of Oto­bahn cof­fee beans.


Toko­roa barista Sjaan Sikking.

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